Sports drought causes Chime profits to fall

Chime Communications' profit before tax for the first half of 2015 was £14 million, down 15 per cent on the same period in 2014.

Christopher Satterthwaite: Chime’s chief executive
Christopher Satterthwaite: Chime’s chief executive

The owner of VCCP said its £16.5 million profit before tax in the first half of 2014 was achieved thanks to the World Cup and was tough to repeat because there were no sports tournaments on the same scale in the first half of 2015.

Operating income at Chime for the first half of 2015 was higher than it was in the first half of 2014, however, at £102.6 million, up 5.9 per cent from £96.9 million.

The group’s operating profit margin also dropped almost four percentage points over the same period, from 18.1 per cent to 14.8 per cent.

Again, Chime said this drop was due to the abnormally strong performance of the sports and entertainment division in the first six months of 2014.

The sports and entertainment division’s operating income in the first half of 2015 was £41.6 million, down from £41.7 million (a decrease of 0.2 per cent) in the first half of 2014, while profit dropped from £10 million to £7 million (down 30 per cent) over the same period.

Chime’s advertising and marketing services group, which includes VCCP, posted a 9 per cent increase in operating income in the first half of 2015, at £45.3 million, up from £41.5 million in the first half of 2014 (an increase of 9.2 per cent).

Operating profit was up 15.6 per cent, from £5.1 million to £5.9 million, over the same period.

Christopher Satterthwaite, Chime’s chief executive, said: "We’re pleased with the Group’s performance in the first half of the year. Sport and Entertainment was lower than the previous period 2014, which saw our involvement in the Fifa World Cup and Winter Olympics.

"The second half of the year will see a benefit from the timing of sports events including the UK Rugby World Cup and Ashes Series, as well as the continuing strong performances of our marketing services businesses: VCCP, Open Health, CIE and the Chime Specialist Group".

In July, Chime Communications recommended its shareholders vote to sell the group to Providence Equity Partners and WPP for £374 million.

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